Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Reasons for Sharing My Story

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:   16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. (1 Peter 3:15 - 16)

February 13, 2010

8:41 p.m. Phil, my husband, is at the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference. I’m at home. I’ve felt bothered all day by some kind of “under-the-weather” feelings and when it was time to go, I was not able to honestly go with him.

I was able, though, to sit up in bed for awhile and enter a few more thoughts in my note-pad. Off and on during the day, I had been reading portions of John Eldredge’s book, Walking With God, and underlining, writing in the margins–and when the need to respond exceeded space in the margins–writing in my notepad.

Who is John Eldredge? Well, by the title of this book, you can probably guess that (whether he’s applied the ‘label’ to himself or not) he’s a Christian mystic. Remember the dictionary meaning of “mystic” is: The belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience. -- Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition.

And he’s a Christian mystic, as am I.

So that brings me back to what I started this blog to do: to “confess,” as is the tradition of Christian mystics, their “experience, strength, and hope”–all of which are grounded in their personal “conversation” with their Lord and Savior, with their Jesus. (Please take time to look up 2 Nephi 33:6 if the expression, “their Jesus” sounds too familiar to use toward the Christ, the Son of God.)

In the pages of John’s book that I’ve been reading, I’ve been listening to him model what I have learned in the lexicon of 12 Step recovery to call “taking his own inventory.” He’s been inventorying his motives for what he does in the service of the Lord (pp. 155-158.) He quotes Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16-18 as a precedent for being “rigorously honest” (more 12 Step wording) about his actions. Is he doing what he does for the Lord just to be seen of men? He asks some nail-ya-to-the-wall questions about the public display and persona he shows forth to others. I felt to ask these same questions of myself. I asked them “before the Lord.” I asked them “unto the Lord.” Specifically I asked them about my feeling so strongly motivated to do this public blog. (Not that I don’t have other places that I've posted in public. I’ve shared for years on the forums of Heart t’ Heart at and I’ve also posted some occasional thoughts “in public” on my personal blog at

So what is my motive, reason, purpose in putting my “voice,” my story, my experience, strength and hope “out there”? I mean out here in front of others. Am I trying to show off? Do I want people to admire me? Esteem me? Want me to be a part of their lives? . . . Now, you have to understand, those are all really significant questions for me to put before myself–and before you–because I do have all those vulnerabilities/weaknesses, thanks to the realities of my mortal birth and childhood. So, I have to name those possibilities out-loud and be honest with myself and others about their potential to be my motive for wanting to share my life story (for that is what I’m about to do here) and how I came to embrace this understanding of myself as a "mystic."

And after listing all those possibilities–getting them out in the open–admitting them to myself and to God–in my notebook earlier (and now admitting them to you, here), I cannot feel those are the reasons for why I’m here, keying this blog entry in and getting ready to post it. Here is the response from the depths of my soul that burns through my heart and bring tears to my eyes:

No, no. Those are not the reasons I’m doing this. I’m doing this for one reason and one only--to testify to others of the love of God. I’m doing this to invite others to awaken to the infinite love of God for each and all of us. I’m going this hoping that I can testify that God is truly this good and this patient and this available and this humble–in other words, He–Jesus Christ–is still just as hard at work on this commission He received from the Father as He has ever been, to bring as many of us Home as will allow Him to. We must allow Him to. We must take the mighty leap of faith  to believe that through the Light of Christ and through the Holy Spirit, who are even of one heart and one mind with our Father, we receive the Father's counsel to us--and that each of the Godhead communicate with us as one God. (See 2 Nephi 31:21, if that concept seems unfamiliar to you.)  And how often are They (as one) trying to communicate with us? Every second that we are willing to believe and receive–tune in to–Their efforts to get through to us.

So anyway. I thought I’d share with you my motives/reasons for showing up here on blogspot and leaving my blog open to anyone who might wander in and feel a familiar spark of longing grow a little brighter in their hearts–a longing to “Walk with God,” and talk with Him and be in “conscious contact” with Him as often as they can–being willing to accept and forgive their own imperfection. Being willing to trust that it is upon His “merits,” or in other words His worthiness and none of their own, that they can rely to understand why He would walk and talk with even a “ragamuffin” soul like themselves.

Well, enough for tonight. I hope you’ve been blessed with some thoughts–even a few words–that have touched your heart and ignited a pondering, prayerful train of thought “before God,” and “unto God,” and maybe even “from God.”  I thought I'd end with a couple of quotes from some hard core mystics (now remember the definition of a 'mystic' is someone who believes that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience.  And a Christian mystic is someone who is convinced that Christ's offer of at-one-ment begins right here, right now.)

"The greatest and most important of all requirements of our Father in Heaven and of his Son Jesus Christ . . . is to believe in Jesus Christ, confess him, seek him, cling to him, make friends with him.  Take a course to open a [channel] of communication with your Elder Brother or file-leader--our Savior. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourse, vol. 8, 339.)

"These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple.  It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another.  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345, italics original.)

Much love,

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